Bits and Pieces

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Richard Clarke

I'm not really getting this whole Richard Clarke story. So he accused Bush of failing to act on Al Qaeda before 9-11. Well, to be honest, they didn't really feature in my own list of things to worry about before that day. It would be hypocritical of us to act as if they should have been foremost in Bush's mind.

However, the White House is playing into the hands of those who want to make this a huge story (I couldn't open the Washington Post site, so I stole this quote from Kevin Drum:

President Bush's top aides launched a ferocious assault on the former White House counterterrorism official who accused Bush of failing to act on the al Qaeda threat before Sept. 11, 2001, and strengthening terrorists by pursuing a misguided focus on Iraq.

Admit it. Before 9-11, terrorism didn't figure in your daily life. You went to work in your office block and didn't give a second thought to the possibility that a plane could pound into the builidng at any second. Since then, the threat of terrorism has been seared into our minds, and we can't imagine a time when we didn't fear it.

Before Pearl Harbour, Americans didn't worry too much about WWII. While the war was raging in Europe you continued life as normal because it was none of your business. You weren't involved. After the Japanese rained fire on America, and you guys finally joined in the fight, did you take it out on Roosevelt? Of course not. Until '41 the US were quite happy to remain impartial.

The same applies today. The best thing the White House could do is ignore Clarke. By all accounts there is more to come, considering the fact that there are several book releases this year slamming Bush on his ineffectiveness during his administration. They should just tune it all out and hope it goes away. Drawing attention to the accusations give them a validity Bush can ill afford. Besides, the administrations actions after 9/11 are much more important.
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